Wednesday, May 6, 2009

James Perry Wilson

James Perry Wilson, painter of the illusionistic diorama backdrops for the American Museum of Natural History in New York:

According to his assistant, Ruth Morrill, Wilson used the following nine colors, along with Permalba white.

Ultramarine blue
Cobalt blue
Windsor blue
Cadmium yellow pale
Cadmium yellow deep
Yellow Ochre
Indian red
Cadmium scarlet
Alizarin crimson

“He could make anything he wanted from those colors,” Ruth Morrill said. He did not use black and only rarely used browns. He regularly premixed graduated tints of each of the primaries on his palette before commencing to paint.

According to one of Wilson’s letters, the entire distance of the Connecticut shoreline diorama (above) was painted with ultramarine, light red and yellow ochre. “It is astonishing what variety you can get with these three,” he wrote, “especially since both the red and the yellow are rather subdued colors. I recommend your experimenting to see what you can do with just these three. They are bound to impart a mellow quality to the greens, which is a good thing.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog